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|Operation Barbarossa (WDTRG)|
|Part of World War II|
|Commanders and leaders|
|Walther von Brauchitsch
Franz Halder Wilhelm Ritter von Leeb Fedor von Bock
Aleksandr Vasilyevskiy Semyon Budyonny Kliment Voroshilov
|Army Group North
4th Panzer Army
Army Group Center
2nd Panzer Army
3rd Panzer Army
Army Group South
1st Panzer Army
Romanian 3rd Army
Romanian 4th Army
|3.8 million||2.75 million|
|Casualties and losses|
Operation Barbarossa was the vast and massive invasion plan created by Nazi Germany and the long term goal of Hitler which was to destroy Russia and create a greater Germany.It was the single largest invasion in history comprising of millions of men and deaths.
The original date for the invasion plan was the 15th May but due to late spring floods it was delayed until the 8th June before the flooding cleared and they were able to attack.
Their were 3 principal objectives Leningrad, Moscow and Kiev as the objectives. The USSR was survival.
The first part of the invasion coursed through the west of the USSR and they in a series of large mass encirclements killed or captured masses of Russian troops.
Army Group North pushed through the Baltic states overrunning the border troops and made rapid progress in the face of suicidal Soviet counter-attacks. They started the siege of Leningrad on the 26th August and started the massive long siege.
While in the south the German and Romanian armies pushed for Kiev and Army Group South reached it on the 9th August while Army Group Centre was made to divert to aid in the encirclement and capture of the bulk of the USSR troops at Kiev. The battle delayed them for a month though when it ended on the 12th September.
With the final push for Moscow now that Army Group South and do a degree Army Group North had completed their objectives. While they still had a long time until winter they were beginning to experience wear and tear.
The battle of Moscow began in late September on the 18th September and the Germans started to encircle the Russian formations one by one eliminating them with Vyazma and Bryansk pockets destroyed on the 27th and 29th.
Hitler ordered his generals to push on and finally win him his last objective and they started attacking Mozhaisk defence lines breaking them down one by one with attacks beginning on the 30th September. While originally starting off by attempting to bypass the lines they took Kalinin and Kaluga on the 5th October but failed to reach Tula so they launched major frontal assaults on Mozhaysk and Maloyaroslavets on the 7th October and although both of these towns fell the next morning they woke up to Rasputitsa and found the roads unpassable and while attempted at first to keep pushing forwards to Naro- Forminsk but found that his tanks could barely move forwards in the mud and when they reached the town on the 11th October Guiderian who was commanding the attack although managed to take the town said "If Russian autumn can destroy more of my Panzer than France could what will the winter do?"
While Volokolamsk fell to the Germans on the the 15th October Zhukov had to pull back due to the danger of being flanked. Tula was attacked on the 18th October but after heavy fighting finally fell on the 28th October. While there was talk of halting offensives until the ground hardened the consensus was that would be a month and they didn't want to spend that long waiting to attack so they would have to push on none the less.
Determined to finally encircle Moscow as they were worried about sending tanks without infantry support in. The Germans attacked Klin on the 20th October and took it on the 25th as well as taking after 5 days of fighting Solnechnogorsk they took it on the 27th October. While they attempted to take the Moscow- Volga Canal they failed to make a good crossing. Stalinogorsk fell after heavy fighting on the 31st October. It was at this point German High Command judged their casualties and supply situation simply to high to continue. All offensive operations were halted and while unsuccessful Soviet counter-attacks were launched the front stalemated until the ground hardened on the 15th November and the Germans were ready for a final encirclement.
The Germans forced their way into Kashira and although after a heavy counter attack drove them out of the city once they managed to retake it and held the city on the 19th November while Lobyna fell on the 20th November and then the Germans troops managed to after heavy fighting cross the Moscow Canal on the 23rd November while in the south Kolomna fell on the 24th November and Voskresensk was taken on the 28th November while Pushkino was taken on the same day. On the 2nd December Gzhel fell but was retaken by a counter-offensive swiftly. Korolyov fell on the 3rd December and was held and although there was talk of them being forced to halt their as they were so close to an encirclement Hitler refused to allow his generals who he believed could still win to attack and after much argument Guiderian was sacked after he refused to launch any more assaults.
Novye Doma fell on the 11th December and Shchyolkovo on the same day but at this point the next German offensives simply could not break Elektrostal and Losino- Petrovosky. It was at this point that the Soviets finally launched a counter offensive which worked with the bulk of the Soviet reserves attacking the freezing German troops through Moscow when they crossed the Moscow Canal and marched on Putilkovo and Voskresensk which both fell on the 13th December. At this point Operation Barbarossa is considered to have ended
At this point many of the German generals became concerned about being cut off and demanded to be able to fall back but Hitler refused to allow them to move back other than for them to reposition troops to defend against Soviet attacks. By 20th December the Soviets had cut off all German forces east of Moscow and started attacking to retake the central ground. By the end of December the Mozhaisk line was back under their control.